Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning

Page: 76

According to the "BHAGAVAT POORAUN," Vishnu said:

"I will become incarnate at Mathura in the house of Yadu, and will issue [Pg 114]forth to mortal birth from the womb of Devaki. . . . It is time I should display my power, and relieve the oppressed earth from its load."[114:1]

Then a chorus of angels exclaimed:

"In the delivery of this favored woman, all nature shall have cause to exult."[114:2]

In the sacred book of the Hindoos, called "Vishnu Purana," we read as follows:

"Eulogized by the gods, Devaki bore in her womb the lotus-eyed deity, the protector of the world. . . .

"No person could bear to gaze upon Devaki, from the light that invested her, and those who contemplated her radiance felt their minds disturbed. The gods, invisible to mortals, celebrated her praises continually from the time that Vishnu was contained in her person."[114:3]

Again we read:

"The divine Vishnu himself, the root of the vast universal tree, inscrutable by the understandings of all gods, demons, sages, and men, past, present, or to come, adored by Brahma and all the deities, he who is without beginning, middle, or end, being moved to relieve the earth of her load, descended into the womb of Devaki, and was born as her son, Vasudeva," i. e., Crishna.[114:4]


"Crishna is the very Supreme Brahma, though it be a mystery[114:5] how the Supreme should assume the form of a man."[114:6]

The Hindoo belief in a divine incarnation has at least, above many others, its logical side of conceiving that God manifests himself on earth whenever the weakness or the errors of humanity render his presence necessary. We find this idea expressed in one of their sacred books called the "Bhágavat Geeta," wherein it says:

"I (the Supreme One said), I am made evident by my own power, and as often as there is a decline of virtue, and an insurrection of vice and injustice in the world, I make myself evident, and thus I appear from age to age, for the preservation of the just, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of virtue."[114:7]

Crishna is recorded in the "Bhágavat Geeta" as saying to his beloved disciple Arjouna:

[Pg 115]

"He, O Arjoun, who, from conviction, acknowledgeth my divine birth (upon quitting his mortal form), entereth into me."[115:1]

Again, he says:

"The foolish, being unacquainted with my supreme and divine nature, as Lord of all things, despise me in this human form, trusting to the evil, diabolic, and deceitful principle within them. They are of vain hope, of vain endeavors, of vain wisdom, and void of reason; whilst men of great minds, trusting to their divine natures, discover that I am before all things and incorruptible, and serve me with their hearts undiverted by other gods."[115:2]

The next in importance among the God-begotten and Virgin-born Saviours of India, is Buddha[115:3] who was born of the Virgin Maya or Mary. He in mercy left Paradise, and came down to earth because he was filled with compassion for the sins and miseries of mankind. He sought to lead them into better paths, and took their sufferings upon himself, that he might expiate their crimes, and mitigate the punishment they must otherwise inevitably undergo.[115:4]

According to the Fo-pen-hing,[115:5] when Buddha was about to descend from heaven, to be born into the world, the angels in heaven, calling to the inhabitants of the earth, said:

"Ye mortals! adorn your earth! for Bôdhisatwa, the great Mahâsatwa, not long hence shall descend from Tusita to be born amongst you! make ready and prepare! Buddha is about to descend and be born!"[115:6]

The womb that bears a Buddha is like a casket in which a relic is placed; no other being can be conceived in the same receptacle; the usual secretions are not formed; and from the time of conception, Maha-maya was free from passion, and lived in the strictest continence.[115:7]

The resemblance between this legend and the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary the mother of Jesus, cannot but be remarked. The opinion that she had ever borne other children was called heresy by Epiphanius and Jerome, long before she had been exalted to the station of supremacy she now occupies.[115:8]

[Pg 116]

M. l'Abbé Huc, a French Missionary, in speaking of Buddha, says:

"In the eyes of the Buddhists, this personage is sometimes a man and sometimes a god, or rather both one and the other, a divine incarnation, a man-god; who came into the world to enlighten men, to redeem them, and to indicate to them the way of safety.

"This idea of redemption by a divine incarnation is so general and popular among the Buddhists, that during our travels in Upper Asia, we everywhere found it expressed in a neat formula. If we addressed to a Mongol or a Thibetan the question, 'Who is Buddha?' he would immediately reply: 'The Saviour of Men.'"[116:1]

He further says:

"The miraculous birth of Buddha, his life and instructions, contain a great number of the moral and dogmatic truths professed in Christianity."[116:2]

This Angel-Messiah was regarded as the divinely chosen and incarnate messenger, the vicar of God. He is addressed as "God of Gods," "Father of the World," "Almighty and All-knowing Ruler," and "Redeemer of All."[116:3] He is called also "The Holy One," "The Author of Happiness," "The Lord," "The Possessor of All," "He who is Omnipotent and Everlastingly to be Contemplated," "The Supreme Being, the Eternal One," "The Divinity worthy to be Adored by the most praiseworthy of Mankind."[116:4] He is addressed by Amora—one of his followers—thus:

"Reverence be unto thee in the form of Buddha! Reverence be unto thee, the Lord of the Earth! Reverence be unto thee, an incarnation of the Deity! Of the Eternal One! Reverence be unto thee, O God, in the form of the God of Mercy; the dispeller of pain and trouble, the Lord of all things, the deity, the guardian of the universe, the emblem of mercy."[116:5]

The incarnation of Gautama Buddha is recorded to have been brought about by the descent of the divine power called The "Holy Ghost" upon the Virgin Maya.[116:6] This Holy Ghost, or [Pg 117]Spirit, descended in the form of a white elephant. The Tikas explain this as indicating power and wisdom.[117:1]

The incarnation of the angel destined to become Buddha took place in a spiritual manner. The Elephant is the symbol of power and wisdom; and Buddha was considered the organ of divine power and wisdom, as he is called in the Tikas. For these reasons Buddha is described by Buddhistic legends as having descended from heaven in the form of an Elephant to the place where the Virgin Maya was. But according to Chinese Buddhistic writings, it was the Holy Ghost, or Shing-Shin, who descended on the Virgin Maya.[117:2]

The Fo-pen-hing says:

"If a mother, in her dream, behold
A white elephant enter her right side,
That mother, when she bears a son,
Shall bear one chief of all the world (Buddha);
Able to profit all flesh;
Equally poised between preference and dislike;
Able to save and deliver the world and men
From the deep sea of misery and grief."[117:3]